HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

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drednm
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HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by drednm » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:42 pm

Cynical look at Hollywood in 1936 with John Halliday playing a washed-up former idol of silent films who sells his "memoirs" to a tabloid magazine for quick cash. He lands a new film and has second thoughts about the memoirs, especially about his love life, but he's bound by an iron-clad contract. He then discovers that the publisher is also producing his new film and using the tabloid to build publicity. The published makes money on both deals.

Subplot has a young writer in Hollywood (Robert Cummings) who meets a pretty girl (Marsha Hunt). But no one knows her mother (Mae Marsh) was once Halliday's wife and she's his daughter. The tabloid brings this and several other things to light.

Odd film directed by Robert Florey takes an honest look at Hollywood with lots of digs at the system everyone is obsessed with succeeding in. Aside from the stars of the film, which also include Esther Ralston as a temperamental actress and Frieda Inescort as the publisher's wife with a secret, five silent stars get full screen credits to themselves with their photos: Francis X. Bushman and Maurice Costello both play directors, Charles Ray plays an assistant director, Betty Compson plays an actress in Halliday's comeback film, and Mae Marsh gets the most screen time with a couple scenes as Hunt's mother.

There's then a screen with about 16 names of other silent stars like Jack Mulhall, Frank Mayo, Jack Mower, Jane Novak, Roy D'Arcy, Mabel Forrest, Creighton Hale, Harry Myers, et al. There's an especially cruel scene where Eleanore Whitney plays herself doing the feet in cement thing at Grauman's. A little girl asks what's going on. The mother says the stars get to put their footprints in cement because the stars live forever. The little girl glances around at various slabs with prints by Gloria Swanson, Norma Talmadge, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Harold Lloyd, Bill Hart and gives the old lady a quizzical look. Huh? Who?
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entredeuxguerres
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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by entredeuxguerres » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:25 pm

Sounds--assuming no major slips between the cup & the lip--as if it could be as interesting as What Price Hollywood, though of course Halliday & Ralston (not that I don't like them both a great deal) couldn't be expected to measure up to Sherman & Bennett.

That final point about the fleetingness of fame could have been made far more effectively with an intelligent-looking young adult--who'd expect a kid, or even a teen, to know anything about celebrities of the past.

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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by Brooksie » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:18 pm

The full cast list on IMDb is pretty intriguing - uncredited appearances by Mack Sennett and Marshall Neilan, and a deleted appearance by Harold Lloyd.

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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by drednm » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:43 pm

Gary Cooper is sitting at a bar and says hello. He's the only major star whose cameo didn't get cut.
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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by silentfilm » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:15 pm

Image

IT'S EASY - John Halliday is explaining to Betty Compson the different technique that is necessary for talking pictures. "Hollywood Boulevard" is Miss Compson's initial introduction to this art. Marsha Hunt, Robert Cummings, C. Henry Gordon, and Miss Frieda Inescort also have prominent roles in the picture.

Poor Betty Compson. She had been a big star at Paramount ten years earlier. She freelanced during the 1930s, working at big studios like RKO and Paramount, as well as smaller studios like Monagram, but still this publicity writer thinks that she has never been in a talking film before this one.

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drednm
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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by drednm » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:39 pm

silentfilm wrote:Image

IT'S EASY - John Halliday is explaining to Betty Compson the different technique that is necessary for talking pictures. "Hollywood Boulevard" is Miss Compson's initial introduction to this art. Marsha Hunt, Robert Cummings, C. Henry Gordon, and Miss Frieda Inescort also have prominent roles in the picture.

Poor Betty Compson. She had been a big star at Paramount ten years earlier. She freelanced during the 1930s, working at big studios like RKO and Paramount, as well as smaller studios like Monagram, but still this publicity writer thinks that she has never been in a talking film before this one.
She was also one the busiest actresses in the first years of talkies.
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missdupont
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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by missdupont » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:16 am

Florey wanted to make the film as much about the place of Hollywood and the industry but the studio cut back on many of the locations, so it's basically the first reel is the only one with Hollywood locations, including one of the first intentional uses of the Hollywoodland Sign.

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Re: HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1936)

Unread post by Scott Eckhardt » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:35 am

silentfilm wrote:Image

IT'S EASY - John Halliday is explaining to Betty Compson the different technique that is necessary for talking pictures. "Hollywood Boulevard" is Miss Compson's initial introduction to this art. Marsha Hunt, Robert Cummings, C. Henry Gordon, and Miss Frieda Inescort also have prominent roles in the picture.

Poor Betty Compson. She had been a big star at Paramount ten years earlier. She freelanced during the 1930s, working at big studios like RKO and Paramount, as well as smaller studios like Monagram, but still this publicity writer thinks that she has never been in a talking film before this one.
How ridiculous! Betty was a fine actress in many sound films. At least the picture reveals that she was still quite beautiful. In THE INVISIBLE GHOST she is reduced to a hag-like specter.

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